Dr. Relly Nadler: This week we have Andras Baneth with us. He is the founder of SpeakerHub.com. He’s an author, entrepreneur, public affairs and strategic communication expert. SpeakerHub is one of the fastest growing global communities to connect public speakers with event planners.
He is the managing director of the European office in the world’s largest non-political association for public affairs; The Public Affairs Council. He’s a regular speaker on topics related to advocacy, science, policy and has a best-selling book, The Ultimate EU Test Book, which has sold over 80,000 copies and helped thousands of candidates prepare for the European careers competition.
We will learn a little bit more about that from Andras. Andra, welcome to the show.
Andras Baneth: Thank very much. It’s my pleasure to be here.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Where are you located now, Andras?
Andras Baneth: I’m based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Hungary, but I’ve been in this part of Europe for over 10 years.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Let me tell you a little bit about how I met Andras and why he’s on the show, which I think is pretty interesting and as they say in the movies, meat shoot. I had been getting a lot of females from an organization called SpeakerHub and as somebody who has been a speaker for many, many years and who has been at national and international conferences for probably the last 20 – 25 years of my career, I was like wow, this is interesting. What is the mission of this organization and how can I help.
In reading more about SpeakerHub, I learned that Andras had some very exciting things to share. Unlike other speaker organizations, he is interested in promoting ideas and he’s interested in helping those people who are not your every day professional speakers learn how to become a great speaker and do it in an environment where you are networking with others and you are learning as well as sharing. That impressed me.
So, I reached out to him, I have joined his network, and I was just really delighted and said hey, how can I help, and he reached out and said, it would be great to have a chat. We did, and I thought he’d be terrific for the show, and so here we are.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Great. Can you tell us a little bit about your organization and some of the programs and things that you do, and then we will be zeroing in on some of these questions we have.
Andras Baneth: Sure. Well, thank you Cathy for the very kinds words and that’s indeed how it happened where we started a conversation based on one of the posts that we shared about speaking and moderating and coaching and what are the best practices.
To take a step back and describe what SpeakerHub does; it indeed is a platform where we are aiming to connect public speakers, trainers, and moderators with event planners. We do that in a way that we understand that there are a lot of professional speakers out there who we very much welcome to the platform.
At the same time, we also know that there are these speakers who are specialists who are talented and have an important message to share, who are leaders in their own way, yet it’s difficult for them to get the visibility that they would like to have; the visibility that they deserve.
Event planners, whether it’s a local Rotary Club or a national association having its annual congress, they are looking for these leaders. They are looking for these speakers, so we are trying to facilitate that. Unlike other similar business, we do not charge any commission fee. So we really take this seriously to focus on the connection and the connection only.
This is what we do and we really try to endorse the idea of leadership in the sense that we would like to empower others. We would like to empower them through useful pieces of information, through education webinars, through tips and traits and checklists. All of these things are part of our model where we would like to be an enabler for all of these audiences.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: As you are talking, I’m thinking, how do you decide on who to accept in to your network and can you give us examples of some of your most successful clients and what impacts that they have had on your audience and their audience.
Andras Baneth: Sure. This is a question that I often get whether we do any prior vetting of speakers. The answer is no. When I get the next question; so how do you make sure that there is a good quality of speakers out there? The answer to that is we welcome everyone. We provide them all the tools to show to event centers that they are trustworthy, that they are capable of delivering good speeches, and they have the right subject matter expertise so that they can provide a lot of information about themselves. Their education, keynote topics that they talk about, but more importantly, we encourage everyone to put up a video or podcast, or any sort of sound recording which really shows them in action.
The third part is third party verification where we offer them the opportunity to add testimonials from pervious experiences and soon will be launching a service where they can add that live after the finish a presentation or a speech, that the audience can provide them feedback right away, and that’s a verified version of feedback.
So all of these are helping event planners to make the choice and it’s not us. We are not a gate keeper to do that choice for them.
Dr. Relly Nadler: So then I can go to your website, Andras, as a speaker, and it sounds like you have professional speakers but then you also have folks who are maybe just really good leaders and want to do more speaking. Is that right?
Andras Baneth: Yes, that’s correct and I understand, I failed to answer the second part of Cathy’s question, of who are our speakers. In their own way everybody is a star, we are very proud nevertheless, to have a few New York, Best-selling authors, we have Mark Goldstone, who you might know.
Dr Cathy Greenberg: Yes, Mark Goldstone, is a friend of ours.
Andras Baneth: I was pretty sure because he talks and writes a lot about listening and active listening and the importance of that. Mark has been a tremendous help and support for our projects because he is great speaker and at the same time he is helping a tremendous number of others to come on board and join us.
So, speakers at that level are also in SpeakerHub and at the same time we have a lot of up and coming talents who are joining from all over the world, not just from the U.S.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: So, you said that as you grow this practice, that anyone can join. Do you some competencies that you require individuals to have? I don’t think you want an 18 year old who has just graduated high school, who has never had any work experience to be talking to senior executives. So, what are some of the things that you require people to have in order to come to SpeakerHub and be effective and successful?
Andras Baneth: Being a free platform, we as a facilitator and connector, we don’t require that. But then, it’s up to them to really read the confidence level of whoever may wish to hire them that they really are up to the job. Obviously, if you don’t have that sort of background then that conversation is not going to happen. There are a lot of best practices how someone can make sure that they are really at that level where a senior executive might want to invite them.
Listen to the entire recorded interview above.